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Auratus last won the day on December 19 2017

Auratus had the most liked content!

About Auratus

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    Advanced Member

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    Southern NH
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  1. Auratus

    Nitrate too low?

    Thanks Zodiac. I will add some nitrate today. Hopefully that will kick the plants into gear. A
  2. Hello everyone, I’ve been running a few low tech planted neo tanks for a while. In the past I’ve fought what I thought was high nitrate problem, with good plant growth but some random deaths of shrimps every now and then. Since then I bought a large tub of Seachem Matrix and installed them into the canister filters and a diy low flow nitrate reducing chamber. What I observe now is slow plant growth, some appearance of green thread algae, and very low baby shrimp survival rates. The adult shrimps are happy and healthy but the colonies are not growing. I bought new phosphate and nitrate test kits today and the water tested zero NO3 with 1.5 PO4. Other parameters are tds 320, gh 11, kh 5, pH 7.5. Is it possible that the nitrate level is too low, inhibiting the proper growth of biofilm? What should I aim for nitrate and phosphate levels for a moderate light low tech planted tank? Could there be other factors I’m not considering? Thanks in advance for your advice. Auratus
  3. Auratus

    First time building paludarium

    Finally, terrestrial plants went in for acclimation. Purchased some bromeliads, moss, tillandsia, pilea depressa, African violet, and purple wandering Jew plant together with a humidity and temperature digital meter. Trying to keep temperature high enough (in my cool basement) while not upping the humidity too much. It will take several weeks for full acclimation. Hopefully I did my research well enough and the plants will thrive in this environment. Over time the background should be covered with moss and vines. It will take a while though. Can’t wait! A
  4. Auratus

    First time building paludarium

    Pokeshrimp- I am planning only to do plants on the land section, and shrimps/snails in the water portion. I thought about frogs and fish, but I'll keep the fauna simple for now as there is enough complications on the plant side of things. Maybe on the next setup...
  5. Auratus

    First time building paludarium

    WalterJay - you are too kind. I have a few full-water tanks (aquariums) and they are not as pretty as some I've seen on this forum. This one partial-water tank (paludarium) is a change up and it keeps things interesting as there are many new things to learn. Finding the right plants that would work with temperature and humidity levels in this setup is quite different than other things I've done in my aquarium hobby. Learning and trying new things is what I'm after.
  6. Auratus

    First time building paludarium

    Some wood decor pieces have been added prior to getting live land plants. Those are put over a window screen mesh on top of the egg crate. The mesh prevents small pieces on top from falling through. I feel like I should have gotten a bigger tank.
  7. Auratus

    First time building paludarium

    View from the back where the pvc support, heater and water pumps sit.
  8. Auratus

    First time building paludarium

    Extra pieces of shale were then used to line the edges of the land section. As you can see, I laid some Brazilian pennywort on the rocks for decoration. Don't know if they would do well from submerged/floating growth to emersed- will need to keep a close eye on them.
  9. Auratus

    First time building paludarium

    Over several days I assembled a shale rock tower which acts as a water feature in the corner of the tank. The shale pieces were glued together with aquarium silicone and allowed to cure outside of the tank. The tower is now placed in the tank. A pump in the back of the foam wall pushes water to the tower. More shale pieces line the bottom of the tower to direct he water stream to the front edge of the false bottom.
  10. Auratus

    First time building paludarium

    Made some progress constructing the land portion. As is common for paludarium set-ups, I used egg crate to form a "false bottom" above the water line. The egg crate (or plastic light diffuser) was trimmed to shape and spray-painted dark green so it is less conspicuous. The paint of choice was Krylon Fusion after doing some research. Folks have used it for aquarium decor with good success. The egg crate is supported by PVC pipes cut to the same height as the poret foam wall.
  11. Auratus

    First time building paludarium

    Aotf, The tank was originally for growing plants, so yes the lights were chosen for that purpose. I did not have mini pellia or mini fissidens in there, but I do notice all the plants become more plush and have better coloration after being in that tank for a couple of months. Now that I am setting this tank for a paludarium, I removed some of the plants and put them in 2 smaller tanks behind this one. You can see the glow of the growth light on the left side of the first picture. I believe it helps quite a bit. A
  12. Auratus

    First time building paludarium

    Hello everyone, This is a project I've wanted to do for a while but never got around to trying it until now. Got a 55 gallon used tank from a coworker and was using it to house extra plants and neo culls for months. Now I finally took the first steps to turn it into a paludarium. I've always kept the tank at about 1/3 with water and I am keeping it that way. Top part will be for semi aquatic and terrestrial plants. Got some poret foam to use as background in the aquatic section so I can hide pumps, heaters and false bottom support in the back. Spent some time to net all the shrimpees from the back to the front- I didn't want to take all of them out for this build. Making slow progress each day and will update along the way. Comments and suggestions are welcome. A
  13. Auratus


    Interested in blue dreams. PM sent.
  14. Thanks folks. My reds from the chocolates look much like regular cherries and not translucent red like bloody marys, so I guess I must have some mutts on hand. I will put them in my cull tank and leave the chocolates in to hopefully improve the line over time. Auratus
  15. Hello everyone, A simple question- are the reds from a chocolate line Ok to mix with red cherries, or should the chocolate reds be kept with just the chocolates? My chocolate reds look much like regular cherries, but I understand the genetics may be very different. Thank you for your comments. Auratus